Does Rice Vinegar Go Bad

Rice vinegar is a colorless condiment that comes from fermented rice. It is useful for its strong vinegar flavoring for balancing out several Asian and Japanese dishes such as sushi and soups. In fact, you may even have some in your kitchen cabinets right now that you want to use, but it is wise make sure it has not gone bad first.

Image used under Creative Commons from ben jones

Why is it important to make sure rice vinegar has not gone bad?

This is because rice vinegar is a carboxylic acid that can degrade over time creating toxic compounds known as peroxides that only occur when the acid reacts with oxygen, which makes it unhealthy for you too use. The good news is it takes an extremely long time such as years before rice vinegar degrades and forms these toxic compounds. For this reason, rice vinegar does tend to have a long shelf life.

How can you tell if rice vinegar has gone bad?

You can tell if rice vinegar has gone bad because it will turn a yellowish color and have a rotten smell to it. It may even have mold growing on the surface of it. At this point, it is best to toss it out and purchase another bottle to use.

What is the exact shelf life of rice vinegar?

There is no exact shelf life for rice vinegar. In fact, it can stay in the pantry and be used safely as long as it is clear in color, and has a pleasant rice vinegar taste too it. However, it does have to be stored in a cool dry dark pantry in order for a bottle of rice vinegar to last you about a decade, but it is best if you do use the vinegar up before the expiration date so it does retain its full rice vinegar flavor that you love some much about it. With that said, if you notice any discoloration happening or a flavor that taste spoiled just get a new bottle and use that instead.

Can you extend the shelf life of rice vinegar?

If you want to extend the shelf life of rice vinegar past the expiration date safely, all you have to do is store it in the refrigerator. The refrigerator is cold and dark, and does a wonderful job keeping the vinegar fresh and full of tasty flavor. However, it is important that you always purchase rice vinegar in glass bottles and not plastic ones because rice vinegar will eventually eat away at the plastic bottle creating a plastic flavoring in the clear condiment. Glass bottles have away of preserving the flavor of the vinegar and keeping it the freshest.

End Notes for Rice Vinegar

So, go ahead and check that bottle of rice vinegar in your cabinet. If the condiment is clear in color and smells like pure vinegar without any pungent spoiling odor it is safe to use for flavoring all kinds of dishes or for making pleasantly tasting dressings to pour over the top of leafy green salads and vegetables.